A similar economic necessity that birthed the Oklahoma onion burger is contributing to its comeback. Tucker's Onion Burgers opened its second location last week in the Classen Curve shopping center — just one year after the original restaurant was introduced on NW 23. And the company already is thinking ahead with plans to open one or two more locations in 2013.
History reveals the onion burger was first concocted in the 1920s as cafes sought ways to stretch their beef. Smashing onions onto the hamburger patty during grilling created a tasty way to stay profitable.
This time, A Good Egg Dining Group put a premium spin on the onion burger by using fresh baked buns from Prairie Thunder Baking Co. in Oklahoma City and ground beef from cattle raised humanely at Creekstone Farms in Arkansas City, Kan.
“We're the first to really take it to this level,” said Keith Paul, president and co-founder of A Good Egg Dining Group, which also operates Cheever's Cafe, Iron Starr Urban Barbeque, Red Prime Steak and Republic Gastropub.
At Tucker's, the menu is simple: burgers, fries, salad, soda, lemonade, beer and shakes. That allows the focus to be on making those items “better than anyone else,” Paul said. Though they receive occasional requests for a veggie burger or bacon, the limited offerings mean the whole operation is streamlined and wait times are reduced.
Restaurant efficiencies extend beyond the menu. Energy-efficient kitchen equipment was installed at both locations and all disposable items are recyclable, compostable and/or reusable. Food ingredients are sourced within 300 miles.
The 23rd Street location is the first restaurant in the state to be certified by the Green Restaurant Association and the Classen Curve store's certification is pending, Paul said.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
• Locations: 324 NW 23 and 5740 N Classen
• Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
• Website: www.tuckersonion
• Founded: 2011
• Main product: Premium onion burgers